With the start of the Aviva Premiership season less than a month away, Bath Rugby’s Charlie Ewels believes that the squad is in a good position ahead of the new campaign.
The 22-year-old said: “I’m massively excited about the season ahead. I’ve only seen the last few weeks of pre-season, but from talking to the boys while I was away and since I’ve been back in, everyone is on the same page. There’s a new feel, a new buzz, a new energy to the Club and as a group of players, staff and organisation, there’s no doubt about what we want to achieve this season.
“We obviously set goals targets and have ambitions and every year that ambition is to win the Premiership and compete in the Champions Cup. It’s good to be in the Champions Cup, it’s a place where a club like Bath deserves to be.”
Bath kick off their pre-season schedule with a West Country derby against Bristol this Saturday at Clifton RFC (kick-off 14:30) and he believes that the next few weeks will give the squad a chance to showcase all the hard work that has been put in over the last few months.
“We can’t get too ahead of ourselves. It will be nice to play some games and put into practice all that hard work we’ve been putting in on the training field, test out some new systems and relationships. That will only stand us in good stead for the Premiership,” he added.
Ewels, a product of the Bath Rugby Academy system made his first team debut in November 2014 and believes that his progression has been aided by a wealth of second row talent in the ranks.
“When I first came to the Club, Dave (Attwood) was here then and also Stuart Hooper, so I was really fortunate to learn from those guys. Last season, Luke (Charteris) came in and he’s been there and done it as far as it’s concerned in rugby. He’s played in different leagues and played against the best on the international stage for Wales.
“All you can do as a young second row in that environment is be a sponge and soak up as much information off those guys. We’ve got a really good second row unit, we all get on well, we push each other and there’s that competitive edge, in that everyone wants those starting jerseys.”
“However, there’s enough of a professional understanding that whoever is lucky enough to pull on the four or the five at the weekend, the other three or four lads that are obviously going to be left disappointed are going to do everything they can to make sure those guys are prepared and Bath go out and win. It’s a great Club to be at and we’re fortunate to be strong in the second row area.
“Obviously there’s James Phillips that has come in this summer, Elliott Stooke who had an amazing season last year and Luke and Dave, who are the old heads. Matt Garvey could also pop up in the second row this year and we all know what he can do.”
Away from Bath, Ewels played an integral role in England’s 2-0 series win over Argentina in the summer and that experience has given him a real motivation to drive for international honours over the coming season.
“It was a massively positive one. It was a nice opportunity to go on tour with the rest of the guys away with the Lions. I had a more senior role than I’ve ever had in an England environment before and I was fortunate enough to start both tests and lead the line-out, which is something that I really enjoyed doing. Every time you go into it, you’re more hungry to be there again. The way that Eddie is and the environment, you can’t relax for one minute. You’ve got to keep improving, otherwise someone else will.”
Tickets for Bath Rugby’s first three home games of the season against Saracens (9th September), Newcastle Falcons (23rd September) and Worcester Warriors (7th October) are now on sale. To book your seat, click here